Nawaz hopes to make his mark as Test all-rounder

Abdul Mohi Shah
Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

ISLAMABAD: White-ball specialist Mohammad Nawaz is eager to earn a permanent place on the Test squad saying he would continue to pursue his all-round prowess going into the five-day format.

Talking to the media on the sidelines of the team’s training session at the Islamabad Club Cricket Ground on Saturday, Nawaz said even in Test cricket he would continue to follow his all-round abilities.

“It is not like that I would count on my bowling or on my batting only in Test cricket. Even in Test cricket, both departments are important to me. I would try my best to perform in both departments to cement my place in Test cricket,” Nawaz, who has already played five Tests coming into the series against England, said.

The local Rawalpindi boy has earned a permanent place on the limited-overs team but is making efforts to earn a name for himself in Test cricket. In five Tests he has played for the country, Nawaz has taken fifteen wickets with an encouraging average of around 27 runs per wicket. However, he has just contributed 98 runs so far with the bat which doesn’t speak the volume of his abilities as a batsman.

“Definitely, I want to further improve my batting performance in Test cricket and am working on it. Though these are my early days in Test cricket, I will try my best to make every opportunity count.”

The all-rounder has never represented his country in front of his home crowd. “I hope that this will be the opportunity. Playing in front of the home crowd and at home ground always gives you special feelings.

If selected in the playing XI, I would try my best to make the Test at home one of the most memorable ones. I want Rawalpindi and Islamabad crowds to turn in numbers to watch the action between two of the world’s best cricket-playing nations that have recently played the final of the T20 World Cup. Good crowd presence always helps you make the best use of your abilities.”

To a question on English team's strength in Test cricket, Nawaz said that the tourists prefer playing attacking cricket even in Test cricket. “England always go for attacking cricket in all formats of the game. We are prepared for that and even are training that way.”

Commenting on his T20 World Cup experience, Nawaz said playing in Australia is totally different from what he had experienced in the sub-continent.

“Playing in Australia demands a different brand of cricket. It was an exciting experience for me. An ultimate win in the World Cup could have been an ideal outcome. But now we are fully concentrating on the upcoming series against England.”

Nawaz was excited about the return of international cricket in Pakistan in a big way, saying it would help popularize the game even further among youth. “To see the world’s best teams touring Pakistan is something exciting.

It would help the game in many ways. Hopefully, both teams would display quality cricket in three-match Test series for the crowd to enjoy.”